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Subject: A Simple 2-Player (and Possibly Solo) Variant rss

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Crimson Truth
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This variant is an attempt to simulate the conditions of a 3-player game for two human players.

It is also possible to apply these rules to two bot players for solo play but I have not tested it yet.



Choose a faction for the bot. Set aside the Lord card and its token then randomly draw the prescribed number of generals. Gather their corresponding tokens then remove these cards including the Lord card from the game. These generals do not have any abilities and only their stats will be used in the game. Do not draw any Separation or Unification cards for this faction. The bot player does not start with gold and rice tokens but will retain its popular support tokens (if any). You will also need a 20-sided die or any suitable randomizer.
The game is played using the normal rules except as indicated.



1. The bot player recruits generals during Rounds 3, 5 & 9 using the process described during setup. Simply draw the required generals randomly, gather their tokens then remove their cards from the game.

2. If the bot faction has the alliance marker, determine the alliance space randomly using dice. Re-roll any result that corresponds to the Win Popular Support or Control Han Emperor as necessary. If a human player has the alliance token and is in alliance with the bot, the bot contributes its general's stats to the total bid value as normal.

3. During the Bid for Action Spaces step, the bot player rolls the dice and bids on the action space as follows:

1-Train Armies
2-Recruit Armies
3-Demand Tribute
4-Produce Crossbows/Vessels
5-Develop Marketplace or Collect Tax
6-Win Popular Support
7-Control Han Emperor
8-Produce Spears/Horses
9-Develop Farm or Harvest
10-Trade Rice and/or Weapons
11-Construct State Enhancement
12-Hire Instructor and/or Import Technology
13-Improve Tribal Relations
14 to 20-Battle (see BIDDING ON BATTLE SPACES)

The bot bids with the general that has the highest associated stat (Admin or Combat) for that space. Use dice for any ties.

The bot uses the Han emperor and all its popular support tokens on the first space it bids on if it has them.

If the bot is currently losing on a bid, it bids another general with the highest associated stat on the contested space on its next turn (No need to roll dice to determine which space to bid on).

If the bot selected the Improve Tribal Relations space, the general is selected randomly. Do not add any gold or army tokens with it.

If the bot bids on the Recruit Armies space but already has 4 or more armies, it bids on Train Armies instead.

If the bot bids on Train Armies but has no untrained armies, it bids on Produce Crossbows/Vessels or Produce Spears/Horses instead. Determine randomly.

If the bot already has 4 or more weapons, it bids on a Battle space instead. Refer to the Bidding on Battle Spaces section.


If the bot bids on a battle space, check if the following conditions are true:

1. The bot has at least one unoccupied border location.
2. The bot has at least one trained army.
3. The bot has at least one weapon that corresponds to an unoccupied border location.

If the above conditions are met, choose a general with the highest combat stat among the bot's pool then roll a die. If odd, put it on the left battle space. If even, put it on the right battle space. Add a number of trained armies equal to its leadership stat along with weapons from the bot's supply. The weapons are determined randomly but must match one of the unoccupied borders.

If the bot is bidding for its second border location, it must select the side where it has no occupied locations as normal.

If the bot finds itself losing its bid on a battle space, the bot bids another general to this space in the next turn as when bidding on common spaces.

If the three conditions described above are not met, the bot does not bid on any battle space and must choose a different action space as follows:

1. No army - The bot bids on the Recruit Armies or Demand Tribute spaces instead. Determine randomly.
2. No trained armies - The bot bids on the Train Armies or Hire Instructor and/or Import Technology space instead. Determine randomly.
3. No suitable weapons - The bot bids on the Produce Crossbows/Vessels, Produce Spears/Horses or Trade Rice and/or Weapons space instead. Determine randomly.



The bot player carries out its actions normally except as indicated:

1. Demand Tribute - The bot always takes 1 untrained army.
2. Produce Crossbows/Vessels - The bot takes two weapons of the same type. Determine randomly. In case the bot has no available border locations associated with the weapon, choose the other type.
3. Develop Marketplace or Collect Tax - The bot only takes the Develop Marketplace action. This has no other effect other than for end game conditions and scoring.
4. Produce Spears/Horses - same rules as Produce Crossbows/Vessels.
5. Develop Farm or Harvest - The bot only takes the Develop Farm action. This has no other effect other than for end game conditions and scoring.
6. Trade Rice and/or Weapons - The bot takes three weapons of the same type for free. Determine randomly. In case the bot player no longer has available border locations associated with the weapon, choose another type.
7. Construct State Enhancement - The bot draws the top card from either Separation or Unification deck and puts it on a face-up pile in front of him for free. This has no effect in the game other than for scoring.
8. Hire Instructor and/or Import Technology - The bot trains two untrained armies for free and does not draw a card.
9. Improve Tribal Relations - The bot increases its level by one for free. No gold or armies are ever added to this space. If the bot does not assign a general to this space, do not decrease its level.
10. Battle - If the bot wins the bid, it stations its general and armies as normal but always flips the VP token to the 1 VP side before placing it on its granary or treasury. The VP token has no other effect other than for scoring.



The bot never pays upkeep for support tokens and stationed armies but scores military VPs as normal.



No changes.

That's it! Hope you enjoy this variant for when you can't find a third (or even a second) player. Let me know if you have any interesting ideas or improvements.

Peace. laugh
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Samuel Lam
United States
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I have yet to buy this game yet due to the 3 player only limitation

You've said that you haven't tried it with solo yet - but how does it play/feel with 2 players?

Has anyone else given this a try? Please let me know! This seems like an awesome game, but so hard to just get 3 players in!
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Quantum Jack
United States
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Tried this solo tonight. I played Wei, using the Bot rules for Wu and Shu.

Not exactly a challenge to beat the bots, but could be used for a "play for personal best" type of play.

They were sorta predictable. One turn (turn 5) they actually managed to coordinate and stop my plans, by sheer luck, but every other time they either flailed around or got into bidding wars against each other.

Final scoring:

Border tokens...2.........1.........2
Domestic Dev....5.........0.........2
Civil Harmony....5.........1.........1
State Enhance....0.........3.........1


after a little tweaking this system could have some promise. As a dummy 3rd player it would probably provide enough distraction to make a 1v1 game interesting. Solo, this isn't quite there. Though there were a couple of times it surely FELT like they were ganging up on me.
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Hugues Richard
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What matters in life is not the triumph nor the struggle but the triumph by tie breaker.
eddiepbauer wrote:
Has anyone else given this a try?
No and never will because this is not a bot, it's a randomiser and an insult to our kind. robot
I would suggest playing by forum/email/texto and would be down for it if we could finish a game in a week or so.
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